The harvest festival is an annual celebration. It occurs around the time of the main harvest. Harvest festivals can be found at various times due to differences in climate and crops. MakarSankranti is a harvest festival celebrated in almost all parts of India. It is known by different names and celebrated with different customs in India. It is celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Lohri in Punjab and Bihu in Assam.
Pongal is the Harvest festival celebrated in the state of Tamilnadu. The festival is celebrated in the month of January for 4 days between 14th and 17th. It is mostly celebrated in the villages of Tamil Nadu where the farmers thank god for a good harvest. There are different aspects to this festival. During Bhogi, houses are cleaned, decorated and re-consecrated for the new year. All the unnecessary things in one’s home are disposed of.
Pongal celebrations also include MattuPongal. MattuPongal honors all the animals that traditionally play an important role in agriculture. On this day, the bulls and cows that are at the center of pastoral communities are decorated. They are pampered and worshiped, as an expression of gratitude.
Bihu is the most important festival of Assam. It is a festival marking the change of seasons. It is accompanied by religious activities and great rejoicing. It’s celebrated with grandeur and zest. MaghBihu is observed in Magh (January). The seven day festival is celebrated with joy, worship, traditional cuisines and folk dance.
Lohri with the full swing of happiness and revelry is celebrated mostly in Punjab. It’s considered as the opening festival of every year and is celebrated on 13 January. The main celebration includes lighting up a bonfire. This is followed by traditional Punjabi song and dance.
In Punjab, wheat is the main winter crop, which is sown in October and harvested in March or April. In January, the fields come up with the promise of a golden harvest. Thus farmers celebrate Lohri during this rest period before the cutting and gathering of crops.
The harvest season is the termination of winter season and beginning of spring season. It is cited as the ‘holy phase of transition’. It marks the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture. It is observed with great fanfare.
May this festive season bring in the promise of a good harvest, joy, hope and happiness.Gopigeon wishes you a happy and safe MakarSankranti.
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